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CHILDHOOD VEHICLE SAFETY. Beth Bruce, PI Lisa Cramm, HQP Krista Whittle, HQP. AUTO21 Network Centre of Excellence. Research and Industry Funded Research Network Excellence in research Collaborative research teams Partnerships – academia and end users Building research capacity - HQP.

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childhood vehicle safety
  • Beth Bruce, PI
  • Lisa Cramm, HQP
  • Krista Whittle, HQP

Child Passenger Safety Conference

auto21 network centre of excellence
AUTO21 Network Centre of Excellence
  • Research and Industry Funded Research Network
  • Excellence in research
  • Collaborative research teams
  • Partnerships – academia and end users
  • Building research capacity - HQP

Child Passenger Safety Conference

research team
Research Team
    • Dalhousie University
    • University of Windsor
    • McMaster University
    • University of Toronto
    • University of Manitoba
    • University of Northern BC

Child Passenger Safety Conference

    • Canadian Pediatric Society
    • Child Safety Link
    • Magna International
    • Safekids Canada
    • Nova Scotia Department of Health Promotion & Protection

Child Passenger Safety Conference

vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for canadian children
Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for Canadian children

Child Passenger Safety Conference

Vehicle Crashes

Transport Canada reports that over 75% of injured children were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash (2005)

Seat belts cannot offer adequate protection for children under 80 lbs. or less than 4’ 9” tall

Child Passenger Safety Conference

Why are children at risk?

85% of Canadian parents attempt to use some

type of safety system to protect their


But, only 15-20% use safety systems adequately

School aged children are at 10 times greater

risk of death or severe injury

Misuse or lack of use primarily responsible

Child Passenger Safety Conference

correct booster seat use
Correct Booster Seat Use

Reduces child deaths by 71%

Reduces severe injury by 67%

Child Passenger Safety Conference

what we need to know
What we need to know…
  • Why do practices vary?
  • How do practices vary?
  • How can we effectively alter practice?
  • What are the ideal attributes of an intervention?
  • How effective are these interventions?

Child Passenger Safety Conference

phase one
Phase One
  • Discrete Choice Experiment
  • Online survey – multiple attribute choice tasks
  • 999 versions
  • Identify segments of population with similar booster seat utilization preferences
  • Demographic Profile – national, regional

Child Passenger Safety Conference

discrete choice experiment
Discrete Choice Experiment
  • Used in market research
  • Enables researchers to test for “importance” and “values” placed on attributes of product
  • Can help to predict consumer behaviour related to changes in the product being tested

Child Passenger Safety Conference

discrete choice experiment1
Discrete Choice Experiment
  • Advantages:
    • Uncovers hidden (or real) biases or attitudes which may not come through on a simple ranking scale
    • Better reflection of “the real world”
  • Disadvantages:
    • Complex
    • Respondents may feel that choices are not “applicable”

Child Passenger Safety Conference

forced choice survey
Forced Choice Survey

Children are very uncomfortable in this booster seat

Manufacturers say this booster seat prevents injuries

Children are uncomfortable in this booster seat

Scientific studies prove this booster seat prevents injuries

Children are very comfortable in this booster seat

My doctor says this booster seat prevents injuries

This booster seat is easy to install

My child always argues about sitting in a booster seat

This booster seat is very easy to install

My child often argues about sitting in a booster seat

This booster seat is difficult to install

My child sometimes argues about sitting in a booster seat

Child Passenger Safety Conference

data collection
Data Collection
  • Collection completed in 8 provinces – 2 ongoing
  • Surveys completed on a laptop
  • 15 minutes
  • Anonymous
  • Data transmitted electronically to McMaster site

Child Passenger Safety Conference

survey experiences
Survey Experiences
  • Data collection sites - target sample (parents of 4-9 year olds)
              • Pools – Swimming lessons, public swims
              • Skating practices
              • Hockey practices, hockey tournaments
              • Dalplex – fieldhouse jungle gym (FunZone)
              • Dancing lessons
  • Other provinces – dental offices, physician offices, day care, immunization clinics, ambulatory care

Child Passenger Safety Conference

  • 1580 participants
  • 8 provinces
  • Parents of 4-9 year olds
  • Transport children in a car
  • Diversity of settings
  • English & French speaking

Child Passenger Safety Conference


Majority of respondents were:


Aged 30-39 years

Urban dwellers

Canadian and English speaking

Higher education

High income

Child Passenger Safety Conference

  • Four segments identified
  • Unique demographic profiles
  • Overall similar importance associated with booster seat behaviour

Child Passenger Safety Conference

importance of attributes
Importance of Attributes

Child Passenger Safety Conference


Overall families reported that the key factors that most influence their booster seat use are:

Awareness of the benefits of preventing an injury

Booster seat regulations for height and weight

Societal expectation to consistently use a booster seat

Regular enforcement of booster seat laws

Child Passenger Safety Conference

Intervention Targets

Raise awareness that booster seats prevent injuries

Provide information on correct use - age, weight,

height regulations

Expect regular enforcement

Create a social culture where using booster seats are

an expectation – “the norm”

Child Passenger Safety Conference

NS Pilot Study

Two elementary schools

Grades 1, 2 and 3

Intervention School

20 minute booster seat class session

Booster seat certificate

Booster seat fridge magnet

Child Safety Link post card/booklet

Control School

Standard car seat booklet distributed by Child Safety Link

Child Passenger Safety Conference

Data Collection

Pre and post intervention

Naturalistic observation of booster seat use

Children’s age and height

Child reported booster seat use

Child Passenger Safety Conference

Booster Seat Tool Kit

Children, Parents, Enforcement, Health professionals

Online video game

Bobby Shooster Rides a Booster program

Classroom session

Resource materials - magnet, booster seat certificate, cling-on poster, post card, police pocket card

You Tube video

Police training

Police road side car safety check tools


Social-marketing campaign

Advocacy kit

Child Passenger Safety Conference

Booster Seat Certificate

Child Passenger Safety Conference


Child Passenger Safety Conference


Child Passenger Safety Conference

National Research Outcomes

Booster Seat Tool Kit





Distribute through public and private partnerships

Develop and test targeted interventions for least users

Child Passenger Safety Conference


Child Passenger Safety Conference